1. The customer should always be #1.
The main sentiment heard in our conversations with other show attendees and in presentations from the leaders in the space is that the only reason they are still around is because of their customer. There is a need to focus on delivering them the value and experiences that they desire. This notion of B2B2C is becoming mainstream because no matter who you’re selling to, there’s always a customer at the end of the process.
This idea was captured really well in Salesforce’s “Big Ideas” session that highlighted their customer, Design Within Reach. Bethany Kemp, Design Within Reach’s Vice President of Technology and Information Systems stressed that “the key to success is keeping the customer at the center of everything you do and partnering to drive future innovation.” Listening to the customer and what they need will always give your company a competitive advantage.
2. AR and VR were everywhere, but not fully baked.
Most of the big players in the retail space like SAP, Oracle, IBM, and Salesforce were demonstrating AR and VR applications. There is a dire need to adopt it because by 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality.
Even though there were dedicated demos for AR/VR, there seemed to be a struggle to deliver an experience that truly adds value to the customer. Instead of just doing AR and VR because it’s the “hot” topic, it’s crucial to go back to point #1 and keep the customer at the center and use the technology in a way that enhances their buying experience.
3. Visualization is still disjointed.
NRF dedicated an entire area to an “Innovation Lab” where startups could showcase their cutting-edge solutions. It was amazing how many of these companies were developing visualization solutions. And rightfully so. According to Michelle Bacharach, the founder of FINDMIND, the customer will spend 200% more when you show them what they’re buying.
The definition of visualization for eCommerce seemed to be very disjointed, ranging from 2D static images of products to virtual reality where the customer needs hardware to see what you’re trying to show them.
Overall, we were surprised by the under-utilization of 3D. 3D can help your customer see and interact with your product without the need of a headset. Our platform empowers your customer to configure your product based on what they want and truly interact with it in real-time. It’s user-friendly, fast and adds value to the customer’s overall experience. And if we learned anything from the show, it’s all about the customer.